Direct Action is nothing new to water protectors but today’s action was a first in the fight against a proposed fracked gas or LNG facility on the Port of Tacoma. Six local environmental activists and allies locked themselves down to equipment at the main building site. The group is known as the ‘Super 6’ to allies. Trained officers cut them free and subsequently arrested them. They are being held overnight at the Pierce County Jail in Tacoma. No bail has been set.
Several squad cars from the City of Tacoma Police Department were present at the scene. They were there to support the Port of Tacoma Police. Tacoma PD spokesperson Loretta Cool was also present. Chester Earl and James Rideout (Puyallup Tribal Council candidate) of the Puyallup Tribe were also there to highlight tribal opposition to this plant.
The LNG plant will hold 8 million gallons of super cooled (-260° F) gas. It will produce between 250,000 and 500,000 gallons a day. The 16-inch pipeline that will feed this gas to the facility is to be built as an extension of the current main line. Construction is scheduled to begin soon and it’s path shows that the pipe will be laid close to a daycare, peoples homes and businesses. The 8 million gallon facility has the potential explosive force of 166 kilotons of TNT. That is over 11 Hiroshima bombs worth of power.
Remedial work on the site is already under way and the pipeline laying is scheduled soon. The Super 6 are hoping that as a result of today’s Direct Action there will be more awareness. Activists have been regulars at the Port of Tacoma Commission meetings and the City of Tacoma Council public forums. So far their pleas for a supplemental EIS have fallen on deaf ears.
The support continued into the evening with a rally outside of the jail. Rally goers were able to shout messages of support to the Super 6 over a megaphone. Liz Satiacum, Quileute, and her son led a prayer song. About 20 people were in attendance and spirits were high.
The 6 people that were locked down were affiliated with local environmental groups. Representatives of Tacoma Direct Action, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Climate First Responders and Redline Tacoma were on hand to document today’s events.